We don’t have to tell you: the importance of your sales forecast is undeniable. It drives countless decisions across your organization and provides a view into future revenue levels based on consumer behavior and buying trends. Your forecast even helps guide performance goals for the company moving forward. Yet the benefits your forecast provides are almost completely nullified if the data driving it is inaccurate or incomplete.
Getting an accurate forecast is the name of the game. But forecast accuracy is dependent on the quality of the CRM data feeding it. The bad news is, CRMs aren’t connected to the majority of touchpoints because they rely on manual data entry by reps. This leaves too much room for human emotion, gut feel, and error. The result is that your CRM misses out on the complete data accuracy needed to produce a precise forecast.
All of this adds up to a major change in behavior by top performers. And it’s a change that’s been a long time coming. Successful sales leaders are finally transitioning away from the archaic, time-consuming practice of forcing sales reps to manually update their CRM data by moving to automated data capture technology, ensuring the data used to predict their forecasts is exact. By automating data capture, sales managers also gain the trust in their data to confidently roll up their forecasts. After all, they have the benefit of working with a complete data set built by all the sales activities from everyone that touched the deal.
Don’t just take our word for the importance of transforming your forecasting methodology. In their report, The Fundamentals Of Sales Forecasting, the industry experts at Forrester SiriusDecisions agree, saying, “As forecasting capability and requirements mature, organizations are investing in revenue operations platforms that combine forecasting, pipeline, and opportunity management.”
To prove why now is the time to transform your organization’s data capture and forecasting practices, we’ve compiled the following eye-opening sales forecasting stats from industry thought-leaders — plus some startling brand-new stats from our very own benchmark report.
3 Shocking Sales Forecasting Stats
- Fewer than 20% of sales organizations have forecast accuracy of 75% or greater. Miller Heiman Group, The Top Four Challenges in Sales Forecasting and How to Right Them, Published 23 January 2020
- Less Than 50% of sales leaders and sellers have high confidence in their organization’s forecasting accuracy. Gartner’s State of Sales Operations Survey, Published 12 February 2020
- Sales organizations that leverage a formal and structured [forecasting] review process increase their win rates of forecasted deals by 25% versus those that take a less formal approach. Miller Heiman Group, The Top Four Challenges in Sales Forecasting and How to Right Them, Published 23 January 2020
Forecasting accuracy, despite its absolute importance, is frustratingly hard to come by. If we continue to let our forecasts be driven by inaccurate, incomplete CRM data, this issue isn’t going away any time soon.
This 1 Stat Shows Automation is Key to Forecast Confidence.
When it comes to your satisfaction with the accuracy of your sales forecast, how important is automation? Turns out it’s very important.
InsightSquared recently released The 2021 State of Sales Forecasting study. This groundbreaking research report was created in conjunction with RevOps Squared, a SaaS benchmark and research firm that surveyed nearly 400 B2B enterprise organizations across industries.
The findings of this report point to the impact the power of automation has on forecast accuracy and satisfaction. The data also reinforces the factors behind inaccurate forecasts, pinpointing The Lack of Rep Accountability as the main reason for poor forecast accuracy, followed by CRM Data Quality and Manual Processes as the other top culprits.
The 2021 State of Sales Forecasting study revealed that:
- Once you remove human bias, errors, and other issues that stem from manual efforts, satisfaction with forecasting accuracy grows to 76%.
Automation is a real game changer, not just for accuracy but for your own peace of mind that you’ve done everything possible to ensure that you’re working with precise, up-to-date data.
1 Last Stat That’s a Shocker: Will You Continue to Let Your Forecast Suffer?
- By 2025, over 90% of B2B enterprise sales organizations will continue to rely on intuition instead of advanced data analytics, resulting in inaccurate forecasts, sales pipelines and quota attainment. Gartner, Improve Revenue Forecast Accuracy With Emerging Forms of Sales Forecasting Technology, Published 8 April 2020
After all the research tells us how our forecasting practices are failing us, 90% of B2B sales companies still won’t transition to automation and advanced data analytics to drive their forecasts. It’s difficult to explain their stick-in-the-mud stance. Whether it’s because of fear of change or wanting to avoid adding to their tech stacks, not adopting an automated data capture technology is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.
Will you let your company be another failed statistic, or are you ready to become part of the successful 10% of companies using accurate data to predict their forecasts? Schedule a demo with InsightSquared to take the first step on the road to success.